Presidents Museveni and Cyril Ramaphosa are set to attend the forthcoming Uganda-South Africa business summit to be held in Pretoria between February 27 and March 1 .
According to the State Minister for Investment, Evelyn Anite this summit is another opportunity for Uganda to not only attract investors to the country but also get markets for locally produced goods.
“At the summit, we shall be expanding our territory because demand for our goods has gone up. Our investment agenda has moved to only one of attracting foreign direct investments to also getting markets for our goods abroad. The summit will therefore be an opportunity for both export and investment promotion,” Anite said.
Uganda’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Paul Amoru said the summit is another opportunity for Uganda to forge ways of correcting its trade deficit with South Africa.
“Exports of Uganda to South Africa in 2021/2022 were $27.34 million whereas on the other side, during the same period, South Africa imported to Uganda goods worth $126 million. The volumes of exports to South Africa are still low and this needs to change,” Amb. Amoru said.
He explained that the summit will help provide investment opportunities in agro processing , mining, fish farming, cyber security , data storage, medical tourism, hospitality etc for Ugandans to tap into.
“It will be opportunity for Uganda to present case to government and private sector but also an opportunity for business to business engagement.”
He added that the summit is a follow up of the joint commission of cooperation between Uganda and South Africa held in Kampala last year as both countries aim at bolstering political and economic ties.
The Private Sector Foundation Uganda(PSFU) Executive Director, Stephen Asiimwe said the summit will provide a platform for the private sector, companies and businesses to create new markets and ways of how to facilitate doing business and identify existing and emerging business or investment opportunities in Uganda and South Africa.
“We shall be seeking for new markets and exchange programs as well as collaborations as the private sector,” Asiimwe said.
He noted that so far 160 businesses have confirmed participation in the summit with most of them being in agriculture, agribusiness, professional services, tourism, transport and logistics, ICT and minerals among others.
According Asiimwe, South Africa is one of the fastest growing sources of foreign direct investments for Uganda as South Africa exports to Uganda.
“We also intend to link up with the Ugandan diaspora in South Africa to create partnerships with them on the many opportunities they are engaged in. It is estimated that there are over 500,000 Ugandans living and working in Southern Africa. The Private Sector Foundation Uganda has been the secretariat coordinating all the relevant stakeholders of the summit.,” he said.
“The main objective of the summit is to market Uganda’s beauty and economic potential of becoming Africa’s leading destination for trade, tourism, and investment.
He said that apart from the two presidents, the summit will also be attended by ministers, heads of government departments and agencies, policy makers, and the private sector.